Bringing coaching skills to the school and beyond
“Children are our greatest treasure, they are our future”, said Nelson Mandela. To many teachers and educators, it’s a mantra that drives them to work tirelessly to support and develop their children - from early years, through junior school, to college and beyond. The efforts, resilience and creativity that teaching professionals put in the education provision since the pandemic have been extraordinary.
However, the support for educators is lacking. Polls say that 1 in 3 teachers are planning on leaving their job due to wellbeing and stress challenges. This creates a challenge around retention and training costs, but also a more immediate and direct impact on the wellbeing, engagement of pupils and their performance at school. Could access to coaching be the solution and help educators better navigate new challenges and improve the way they manage their wellbeing?
How can coaching support educators?
Coaching provides a safe and confidential space to take a pause, reflect and gain new insights. It’s about exploring and allowing the coachee to find answers within them rather than ‘telling’. In the day to day working lives, how often do we really get this?
In my own experience as a coach, educators use the coaching space to give them greater clarity and a way forward with workplace challenges, such as:
- work-life balance and managing workload
- adapting and responding to new Covid policy requirements
- personal and staff wellbeing
- managing team dynamics
- children’s wellbeing and family engagement
However, the benefits of coaching extend beyond the individual who received coaching. Coaching is a gift that keeps on giving: having experienced the benefits of coaching, many educators start to use the coaching skills that they have learned in the coaching space in their own interactions: with other staff, children’s families and children themselves too.
The gift of coaching to the staff room
During a coaching conversation, one senior leader realised she had been operating in ‘defence mode’ with her team: she had been so busy ‘telling’ that she hadn’t properly listened. This insight prompted her to have more open and honest conversations with her team. She now uses more coaching questions to create a listening space, such as: ‘What’s going on for you?’ or ‘What have we learned?’
The gift of coaching to the classroom
One teacher shared how he adopted a coaching approach in the classroom:
“The coaching has changed the way I work with a couple of the children. Rather than jumping in with directions, I now consciously ask more questions and listen more.”
But the gift of coaching doesn’t stop here. One Headteacher noticed that children started to model coaching behaviours too:
“Coaching has become second nature to me. Now, when I’m in the classroom, I go into that mode and can see the children doing it too.”
Coaching can support educators in better navigating new challenges and improving the way they manage their wellbeing, and the wellbeing of others. But the benefit of coaching is much wider, as the development of new skills and models of practice benefit other staff, children’s families and children themselves too.
At Know You More, we’ve worked at scale to support educators with organisations such as Education Scotland, the University of Glasgow and the College development Network, making a measurable impact in schools, universities and colleges across the country.
To learn more about how you can support the educators in your school get in touch by filling the form below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.